Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2001 4:18 AM | Contributed by PKI_MAN
Son of Beast at Paramount's Kings Island gave its millionth ride to Leslie Smith ofToledo at 3:15 yesterday. For her troubles, she received balloons, a banner, and a gift basket full of SOB merchandise.
There is no 'official' counter on the ride. And the only turnstiles are at the main gate. My guess is they make a 'guesstimation' of how many people rode it within the last year and started the day stating 999,000 people rode it. Then they counted the riders getting on the ride that day, and gave the prize to the 1000th rider, making her the 'millionth'.
BTW - her reaction on local TV news here was just, 'Great....I was surprised.'. Pretty low key.
I believe that rather than turnstiles, which as you indicate, are probably inacurate due to folks playing with them, that park has a different method fo performing rider counts.
Quite simply on a coaster, they count the *EMPTY* seats that go out on a train, and a count of the number of dispatches during that time frame.
So lets say there were in an hour 20 dispatches, and the "Empty Seat" handcounter read 50, they would take 20 dispatches * 36 seats - 50 empty seats to get 670 riders during that time frame.
On a couple rides they do have turnstiles, these would be: Scrambler, Monster, Troika, Voyager VR, Train Ride.
The Train ride is the real oddball in the group, as there are two stations, Rivertown and Waterworks. Of the two stations the only turnstiles are at the entrance to the Rivertown station, there are no turnstiles in the Waterworks station.
Mind you there are turnstiles to the entrance to Waterworks but they would also count those who opted for the walkway.
Other rides use hand counters and a logbook. I'd say that on most of the rides the handcounter method would be sufficient, except on rides with multiple entry points, such as the queue gates on a coaster, or the multiple gates to the train ride, or Viking Fury. I rekon Viking Fury also uses the empty seat method.
Getting back to the train, I wonder how and if they count it. The mass entry is too heavy for handcounting, and they don't really look too hard at the coaches enoguh to count either way. The turnstiles whould only catch those departing from Riverrtown.
However in the heck the count their riders, they still deserve some kudos for awarding the 1,000,000th rider.
I am very surprised that it took PKI that long for SOB to have 1 million guests ride. Goliath at SFMM accomplished this just a few months after it opened, but Goliath also did not have all the problems SOB had before it opened.
I don't know any parks that do hand counts of empty train seats but I suppose anything is possible. I though PKI had electricy eye beams that registered a count when you walked between the loading rails.
In any event, I am sure the park just took a ballpark estimate. There is absolutely no way to have an accurate count.
This sounds more like a media gimmick than anything else. If the ride doesn't have turnstiles than they probably don't have a very accurate count of how many riders have been on SOB.
*** This post was edited by Kevin on 6/27/2001. ***
I heard that they were going to make tunnels for Son of Beast. Is this true at all? I recall reading that once in a post on this site. Overall, I thought that ride was pretty sweet. A 200 foot wooden coaster with a loop was unlike any other wooden coaster I've ever been on.
Of course this isn't an accurate count. It is just for publicity. They probably just calculated approximately how many people ride each day and then figured out about what time the millionth rider would enter the station. Then they waited for some attractive person to enter right about that time and claimed they were the millionth rider. Fireworks. Hooplah. blah, blah, blah
It is a neat thing for them to do, that's certain. Definately a publicity stunt, but still interesting.
CP's turnstiles still aren't accurate, because most of the small rides and some of the less popular coasters don't always have someone at the entrance to keep people from spinning the bars, there are always people that go through the turnstile but don't end up riding for whatever reason, stuff like that. But it does keep pretty good numbers, overall, if you average it out.